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In this course, author George Maestri explains how to model and render 3D objects and scenes using Google SketchUp 8. The course covers the fundamentals of the application, from navigating the user interface, manipulating objects, and building basic shapes to importing objects from Google Earth, animating a scene, and modeling organic terrain using the Sandbox tools. The course also explores SketchUp Pro features, which are available as an upgrade. These include tools for creating dynamic components and adding interactivity, as well as sophisticated importing and exporting options for working with outside applications.
So let's take a quick look at how to render a SketchUp generated object in an external package. I'm using 3ds Max. So if you have Max, go ahead and follow along. Now this is just going to be the quick five-minute advanced rendering in Max course; if you want a really in depth course, we've got a couple of others in the library. Aaron Ross's Max Rendering course is great. So if you want to go a lot deeper, go ahead and go through that course as well, but let's just go through some of the basic here. So I've got my model that I imported in the last lesson and just to make things easy, I'm going to import an existing environment.
So I'm going to go Import>Merge, and we merge because it's already a Max file, and I've a file out there called Environment. And if we look and see what's in there, we have a ground plain, a skylight, and a spotlight. Import that and there we go. This already has, if we go into our fore-view here, you can kind of see that we've got a skylight here and a spotlight as well as a ground plain that has grass on it.
So let's just go ahead and zoom in and get back into a view that we want to render. And one thing we probably should do is put in a background. So we probably should get a sky in there somewhere. So let's go into Rendering> Environment and we're just going to put a bitmap behind the camera. So under Environment Map, I'm going to click on this and select a Bitmap here and in that Chap13 folder, we should have a Sky and then let's go ahead and close that.
Now we don't see the sky here because we have to turn that in the View port. So I'm going to go Viewport Background> Viewport Background and we're going to use the Environment Background, but then we also have to say Viewport Background>Show Background and that shows my sky. So now let's take a look at this; in fact, I'm going to turn on Safe Frame so I can see exactly what I'm rendering here and let's go ahead and just position our camera so we've got a nice view of our building. Okay, so there we go.
Now it's look like a good view. So now that we have this, we can do a quick render. So I've got my lights in my scene, I've got a background, I've got pretty much everything. I'm not sure what my render settings are, but let's go ahead and do a quick render. So as you can see, we have a reasonably good render; it's a little overexposed and we've got a few things that we can deal with. Now one of the things is the windows aren't really reflective and they're little too transparent; they look a little too gray.
So let's go ahead and fix those first and then let's go bring down the lights a little bit and do some more tweaking to the rendering. So first thing, I'm going to do is go ahead and actually select my object here, and I'm going to go into my Mesh panel here and I'm just going to go ahead and select this polygon that's one of the windows. And if I scroll down here somewhere, I'll find my material number. So this is Material ID 14.
Now that's just the number we need to remember; I'm going to go ahead and click out of this and let's go into our Material Editor. Okay, this is kind of be kind of tight here. So hopefully, we can see all this. Now the first thing I want to do is eye-drop on my object and that kind of brings up this material here and if I double-click on this, you'll see that these are all my materials. Let's scroll, let's make this a little bit bigger here. It's kind of hard to fit on the screen here. But if I scroll all the way down on this, you'll see that I can go down further.
You can see I have Material ID number 14 which is Glass Gray. So if I go into that then I can actually affect my glass. So let's take a look at this. Well, my Opacity is at 50 which is pretty high for glass. Let's go ahead and turn that down to about 20 and then let's say, add a little bit of reflectivity to that. We can do that in the Maps section. So I'm going to go ahead and click on that and for Reflection Maps, let's go ahead and add in Raytrace.
So I'm going to make a Raytrace reflection map. Now we have it at 100, which is completely reflective, and we don't want to do that. So I'm just going to type in 20 just to give us a little bit of reflection. So now, I've changed the Opacity and the Reflectivity of that glass. So hopefully, that will help a lot, and now, let's also go into our Render Setups and change that just a little bit. So we have a couple of Presets here; one is a scanlineradiosity high, let's go ahead and do that and let's go ahead and I'm going to turn off everything, but Environment, because if I turn on Environment, it's going to get rid off my skies.
I'm going to Shift+Select Scanline Renderer, Advanced Lighting and Raytracer and hit Load and that sets up my render settings, but there is one more thing that I want to do before actually do the final render, and that's to change my Exposure Control. So I'm going to use the Rendering pulldown, select Exposure Control and Right now, it's set for no exposure control, but I'm actually going to do automatic that should work a little bit better. So I'm going to go ahead and close that and let's go ahead and do one more render.
So here is the render and as you can see, it's a little bit better; the glass is much more clear and reflective. We can probably work a little bit more with the lighting, but as you can see, we can take objects out of SketchUp and render them fairly realistically. So SketchUp can be a great starting point for these types of models.
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